Astelbania Chronicles: A Meeting of Minds

"We are here," Kanan began again once everything had settled down, "to bring together our efforts in finding the Citedel of Sakkar."

He paused a moment to let the hurried whispers that proceeded this statement die down.

"We are once again in a race against Darkness and those that would destroy our freedoms and lives in order to gain power. In order to stop them we need to reach the Citadel first. And in order to do that, we need the Heir of El'Cairn to lead us there."

Falina's jaw dropped and she shook her head opening her mouth to protest that she had no knowledge of where such a place might be when Kanan held up a hand, silently asking for her indulgence before speaking.

"Genevive D'Veln, as all here know, is the protector and guardian of Sakkar's Citedel. A place with many secrets so deadly as to be beyond the imagination. It has fallen to this family line to preserve the secrecy of this place with their lives and so they have. Until now."

Falina blinked, trying without sucess to digest all of this. Kanan was talking about her mother, whom he seemed to assume was still alive and about her and her role in all of this. Quite frankly it was too much to take all at once and her mind rebelled.

"Harlson D'Veln was protector before her," He looked over to Falina and added, "He would be your Great-Great-Great," he paused a moment cacluating and added one more,"Great Grandfather."

"Harlson was killed while protecting this place, a place whose construction and birth are lost in the history of our land. Why it was built and who built it are no longer known. What is known is that the bloodline of the D'Velns have been guarding is since before it was known to exist."

"After that a long period of time passed with those on the side of chaos ruling at it's head. Many tragedies and horrors have been performed from this hold and, once Sakkar took over from his Master, the darkness around it grew until the day he accended to Godhood."

Kanan's mouth twisted in a self-depreciating grimace and Falina had a feeling that topic had caused him some pain to approach. He went on, though, as stalwart as she had always heard he was.

"After that it disappeared. We had thought that it was destroyed with it's dark master having left this plane of existance. However, we have discovered that this is not so."

"A pair of knights, Genevive being one of them, discovered the location of the Citadel. Until this time we had not known what had happened to her and thought her dead. Recently it has come to light that she is within the Citadel and acting as it's protector as all of her line had until that Age of Darkness."

"You hope." It was Umbridge again and Falina's head snapped over to where he sat almost jubilent to be delivering what he percieved as a token of bad news.

Relishing his role, Umbridge smiled and eyed Kanan with glittering eyes.

"You don't know, do you? For all we know Genevive D'Veln could very well be the next Dark Master of the Citadel, pulled by the call of power there and waiting only to deliver it to the enemy."

Falina was on her feet, eyes blazing.

"Take that back!" She yelled at him, halfway across the table, murder in her eyes. "My mother would never...!" She found herself held back by one of Bahl's large hands. She had not even noticed him coming up behind her.

"Calm yourself," He said in a steady voice. "Lord Umbridge is simply expressing an opinion held by some. One cannot help rumors, nor will tempers make them cease. The only thing that will cause them to die will be the truth. Which we are charged with finding."

It took all of Falina's will power to sit down again so angry was she. Bahl's hand held her a moment more before releasing her shoulder and gliding to his seat again.

Once the commotion had died, Kanan went on as if no interruption had happened.

"Our tasks are clear. We are to bend all of our aide to the trio who are the key to learning this truth. Bahl, our Tiefling brother in service to the King of Devensheer, Axym, an old and dear friend who any of us here would trust with our lives and Falina, the Heir of El'Cairn."

Again all eyes turned toward her and she fought the urge to scrunch down in her seat to avoid their curious and piercing stares.

"Four items are needed to open a way to the Citadel. Or so Westbridge has told us. Even their history of the hold is sketchy but it is all we have."

"The first item is a book. A book that is said to have been forged from the scales of a powerful dragon. This book is reputed to contain the spell to open a portal to where the Citadel matter where it is."

"The second is The Bell of Astist which is said to have been crafted by a most ingenius man and whose tone is so clear that it can still even the wind. What it's use is, we do not  know but it is said that the Heir will know what to do with it when the time comes."

"The third is a The Candle of Omana. This candle is said to have been crafted not with wax but with darkness itself. Again, the Heir will be able to use it when the time comes."

The fourth...well, the fourth is something that is still in question but this 'item' is what Bahl and his group is tasked first with obtaining once the Towers have informed us of it's whereabouts."

A look passed between Kanan and Bahl. Before the meeting they had both agreed that Magnus D'Vlen should be kept a secret from all until it was necessary to unveil the second Heir. There were factions even within their group that would like nothing more than to see them fail.

"Lord Umbridge, Lady Sanders and Mage Evans," He nodded to the portly lord, the sleekly beautiful and dark haired lady on his right and a thin, red-robed man on his left. "Have been charged with locating the Bell of Astist."

"Mage Thews, Andella Marston and Merdth Lotten have been charged with locating the Candle of Omana." He gave a bow of his head to a woman mage of undetermined years dressed in a crisp white robe, a plump woman on her left and a man to her right who looked as if he had spent most of his days in the sun so wrinkled and brown was his leathery skin.

"And the location of the book is in the hands of Dannoa Braxa," He gave a nod to the elf who returned it gracefully, "and Jezbel," The second nod went to a dark haired woman dressed in black leather and white blouse with a large sword swung from the back of her chair and within easy reach. Falina had a feeling that she did not go anywhere without it. The woman, for her part, gave Kanan a raised eyebrow and nothing more.

"And now to the meat of our meeting. All parties are to report their progress and we are to discuss a course of action dependant on the reports."

With a flourish of his hand, he indicated Lord Umbridge. "If you would start with your report, My Lord?."

The End

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